Giraffe Conservation Foundation continues to create a culture of environmental awareness among the grassroots generation
Last year over 2500 Grade 3 and 4 learners from 26 primary schools participated in the Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP), according to a statement released this week.
The interactive and hands-on environmental education programme is implemented by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and takes place in Daan Viljoen Game Reserve only 20 km outside Windhoek.
According to the organisation KEEP is not only about giraffes, but aims to inspire young children to care for the environment by allowing them an opportunity to reconnect with nature through a targeted field-based EE approach.
The programme was developed specifically for grade 3 and 4 learners from primary schools in the Khomas region.
KEEP started in 2016, after the Directors of GCF realised that many young people living in the capital had never seen a giraffe, despite these iconic creatures living just on their doorsteps hence one of the aims of the programme is to get city kids out of the classroom and into nature.
According to the organisation during an exciting day in the bush, the students spend time tracking wildlife, identifying plants and animal species, and learning more about environmental challenges that impact conservation in the country.
“Students get actively involved in the programme and experience first-hand how everything in nature is interlinked. They go home with a better understanding of their part in the bigger picture and how all their actions have consequences. A specially developed workbook is used as a resource during the field day and each student takes it home afterwards,” GCF added.
GCF employs a young and enthusiastic team of three to implement KEEP. All three are recent Nature Conservation graduates from the Namibia University of Science and Technology, providing a positive role model for young Namibians and positively influencing and boosting some learners’ career choices.
“Our team just loves the opportunity to share our passion for giraffe and nature with young learners every day. Not many of our fellow graduates enjoy their jobs as much as we do! It is also exhausting at times – especially on hot summer days, but still – we love what we are doing.” says Naemi Antonius, KEEP team leader at GCF.
Meanwhile KEEP is now entering its 4th year and so far over 6,600 learners and 200 teachers have participated in the programme.
KEEP is endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as well as the Ministry of Education.
KEEP has recently opened for the year and there are still open spaces to make a booking for this year. If you would like to bring your school class or a group during the holiday times, get in touch through the GCF website https://giraffeconservation.org or give us a call on 081 642 3271.